Thursday, April 8, 2010

CT Chapter and Mianus River Park in the News!

Forging a path: Volunteers rebuild trails in Stamford's Mianus River Park
Elizabeth Kim, Staff Writer
Published: 09:50 p.m., Wednesday, April 7, 2010

STAMFORD -- In the northern reaches of Mianus River Park, not far from a glistening river, a cluster of T-shirt-clad outdoor lovers stood in a small clearing with their backs bent and legs muddied ...

As part of a joint effort with the Connecticut Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association, Sofman and several others underwent training in trail maintenance techniques.

On Saturday, Ryan Tucker, the trail maintenance coordinator, instructed the team on how to make a "bench cut," a trail-building method involving cutting in a sloped hill that dates back to the 1920s.

"Most of this stuff is tried and true," he said.

Nearby, another team was busy "armoring" a section of the trail. It involves placing rocks to harden areas where water tends to collect.

"It's like a jigsaw puzzle," said Dave Francefort, another volunteer.

Another group member, Rich Coffey, added, "The tighter they fit, the more the two rocks will match each other and the longer they will stay solid."

As proof of the quality and value of their handiwork, Coffey pointed to the recent torrential downpours.

"The storm did a lot of damage," Coffey said. "But in every place where we built trails, they are still really solid."

Last year, Coffey's 16-year-old son, Gregory, also got involved in the effort.

Along with Francefort, the three are avid mountain bikers, one of the primary users of the park.

At the mention of the sport, Coffey gave a sly smile.

"There's an ulterior motive," he said. "We get to ride what we fixed."

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